July 2021 Sightings

Details of July sightings compiled by John Thompson will appear on the Monthly Sightings page.


  1. Mike&Andy
    31st July 2021

    Our first Hobby of the year at Lea Forge backed up nicely with a Spotted Flycatcher this morning.

  2. Nigel Henderson
    31st July 2021

    Congleton – River Dane – Dane Street riverside walk
    Mandarin Duck Immature
    Kingfisher Flying upstream opposite the flats car park
    Goosander 1 x ♀ 8 x Immature, together; this is the most we have seen this year
    Cormorant My 1st sighting of this species at this site

  3. Colin
    30th July 2021

    A brief visit to Doddington this morning gave kingfisher 1, common sandpiper 2, gc grebe a pair with a new brood of 4 and a female still on a nest on Lemon Pool. The mute swans still have 6 cygnets

  4. Nigel Henderson
    30th July 2021

    Congleton – River Dane – Dane Street riverside walk
    Mandarin Duck 3 immature; no sign of the adult female, but very restricted view
    Kingfisher 2 x flying downstream
    Dipper Immature; breast not snowy white and not showing brown on
    the head

    No grey wagtails, bafflingly.

  5. Mike&Andy
    29th July 2021

    Still at least one Common Sandpiper at Doddington this afternoon.

  6. Darron Boulton
    29th July 2021

    Just to confirm Little Owl still in Queens Park today (30th).

  7. John
    29th July 2021

    90 minutes at Casey Lane, Basford this morning:
    good numbers of Swift; the breeding site nearby appears to be holding it’s own although I have not yet had any evening reports.
    Also of note a pair of vocal Buzzards, a hunting Kestrel, a handful of House Martins, a Whitethroat (heard ) and a stunning male Yellowhammer

  8. Colin
    28th July 2021

    I finally proved breeding at Dunelm in Crewe with a sighting of a juv LBB gull there this morning. Appeared from off the roof, flew round briefly and landed by an adult, begging food. Also on several previous visits there has always been 2, 3 or 4 gulls perched on the tower of Christ Church nearby. It looks as if the big gullery on the roofs in the Business Park has been expanding and also started a new site.

  9. John
    26th July 2021

    This morning at Sandbach Flashes, EHF/PHF:
    Egyptian Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, GC Grebe, LRPlover, Curlew, Black-t Godwit, Dunlin, Snipe, Common & Green Sandpiper, Great W & L Egret and Kestrel were the highlights.

  10. John
    26th July 2021

    19 – 25 Jul
    EHF/PHF: Egyptian Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Mandarin, Oystercatcher, Golden & LR Plover, Curlew, B-t Godwit, Dunlin, Snipe, Common & Green Sandpiper, Common & Y-l Gull, Common Tern, Sparrowhawk, Kingfisher, Sedge & Reed Warbler, L Whitethroat
    Congleton: Mandarin, Goosander, Kingfisher, Dipper, Grey Wagtail
    Doddington: Pochard, L & GC Grebe, Common Sandpiper
    Lea Forge: Sedge & Garden Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Grey Wagtail, Linnet
    Marton: Spotted Flycatcher
    Redesmere: Whooper Swan

  11. John
    25th July 2021

    Quiet on Macon Meadows this morning but overhead there were juvenile LB-b or Herring Gulls begging as they follow their parents – presumably from the gull nesting colony on Weston Road.
    Also overhead, a Sparrowhawk – I heard a juvenile call earlier on the walk.

    In the garden, the local Blackbirds have reared another brood. At least one of the first brood was taken by Magpies. For the past week, I’m hearing Dunnock contact calls all day long! Occasionally I see one bird perched up or foraging – there must be a nest nearby?

  12. Mike&Andy
    24th July 2021

    A Spotted Flycatcher at Lea Forge this afternoon .

  13. Colin
    24th July 2021

    At Doddington this morning the first brood of tufted duck at last with a female and 8 new ducklings on the back pool. Also 59 mute swans still there and great crested grebe on its nest as well as one lapwing and one pochard. A grey wagtail along the stream at Lea Forge.

  14. Nigel Henderson
    23rd July 2021

    The Whooper Swan is still at Redesmere. This is a bit outside the SECOS recording area but it’s within easy reach of Congleton.
    Congletob – River Dane – Steamboat car park
    Kingfisher – 2 flying downstream; also Pam saw one later
    Grey Wagtail – many sightings; at the weir; on the riverside walk

  15. Mike& Andy
    20th July 2021

    A Common Sandpiper the only bird of note at Doddington this evening.

  16. Nigel Henderson
    20th July 2021

    Congleton – River Dane – Dane Street riverside walk
    Kingfisher Flying upstream
    Grey Wagtail Flying upstream; also 2 at the weir
    Goosander ♀ and 4 immature; Immature at the weir
    Dipper Immature

  17. Mike&Andy
    19th July 2021

    A probable juv Cuckoo landed in the dead tree on Hancocks this morning at E.H.F.Good back up birds included,Lesser Whitethroat,2 Green Sandpiper,2 Common Sandpiper,2 Redshank,Curlew,Black-tailed Godwit and the Ruddy Shelducks.

  18. Colin
    19th July 2021

    At Doddington this morning a total count of 59 mute swans including a pair with 6 cygnets; also good numbers of little grebe with a total of 23, 13 adults and 10 juvs; one great crested grebe sitting on an obvious nest but no sign of tufted duck young, they are always late but should have had young by now.

  19. John
    19th July 2021

    12 – 18 Jul
    EHF/PHF: Egyptian Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Oystercatcher, LRP, Curlew, B-t Godwit, Dunlin, Snipe, Common & Green Sandpiper, Common, GB-b & Y-l Gull, Common Tern, Sparrowhawk, Kingfisher, Peregrine, Raven, L Whitethroat, Yellow Wagtail
    Alsager: Hobby
    Astbury Mere: Common Scoter, L Grebe, Common Sandpiper, Raven
    Congleton: Mandarin, Goosander, Kingfisher, Dipper, Grey Wagtail
    Middlewich: South African Shelduck ( aka Cape Shelduck )
    Queen’s Park: L Egret
    Rode Heath: Osprey

  20. Nigel Henderson
    17th July 2021

    Sandbach Flashes – Elton Hall Flash 2 x Ruddy Shelduck, not males but could be females or juveniles.
    But are these escapees or vagrants from the Netherlands/Germany population?
    According to https://bou.org.uk/british-list/recent-announcements/ruddy-shelduck-request-for-records/ “The British Ornithologists’ Union’s Records Committee (BOURC) is currently reviewing the status of Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) on the British List. Ruddy Shelduck is currently in Categories B, D, and E of the British List but is potentially also occurring in Britain as a vagrant from established naturalised populations on the near continent and must therefore be treated as a candidate for Category C5 (vagrant naturalised species from outside Britain). ”

    If you are unaware of the differences between categories on the British List (surely not) see https://bou.org.uk/british-list/species-categories/. Apparently “There are currently no species in category C5.” Let’s hear it for the Ruddy Shelduck.

  21. John
    16th July 2021

    Following a call last night from a member reporting an unusual record, I was out early this morning on Meremoor Moss – unable to confirm the sighting but hopefully details will be received in due course. I noted there a swallow collecting mud
    Then off to the first of my planned sites: Winterley Pool Farm: a couple of Swift noted, probably from the nearby site that Colin monitors, I heard juv. raptors in the trees by the lane – probably Sparrowhawk who have nested there previously. Coal Tit heard by the animal hotel and a mixed flock of sparrows & finches feeding in the field margin contained a couple of Yellowhammer.
    While having a brew & a biscuit on the bench by the interpretation board by the pool, I noted 3 cygnets
    **Note to self – pass on record to Cheshire Swan Study Group
    at least 4 Swift hawking low over the water, a GC Grebe, a Sparrowhawk. The resident Terrapin was sunning itself
    Then on to my final site, Hassall Moss: 2 Buzzards cruising low over the recently cut & cleared field put up c50 B-h Gulls, a family of Pied Wagtails plus a juv Yellow Wagtail. Later I saw 2 Buzzard ‘talon touching’. The nearby hospice had lots of House Martin nests. An alarm call from the House Martins alerted me to a Kestrel as it flew through a group flying over the hospice, only to see a Sparrowhawk to pass it flying in the opposite direction with prey in its talons

  22. John
    15th July 2021

    Spent the morning on Meremoor Moss & environs: nice to see family parties of Moorhen, Coot, GS Woodpecker, Coal Tit, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Linnet and Reed Bunting. Last time there I noted a juv Coot feeding anther small juv – presumably the larger bird was from an earlier brood?
    Also of note: Oystercatcher, Sparrowhawk, a female Kestrel ( the first female I’ve seen here since the report of an injured bird in mid-May ) and a Raven. With low cloud and plenty of cattle grazing, Swallow & House Martins were everywhere. Sedge and Reed Warblers singing, a possible Willow Warbler seen – looked too ‘clean’ for a Chiffy?
    The dark mallard-types are still there. My best guess after an internet search is that they are a bantam – ‘East Indie or East Indian Duck’.
    The surprise for me was while I was watching a pair of Reed Bunting coming & going, a female Tufted Duck floated past me with two duckling in tow!

  23. Nigel Henderson
    13th July 2021

    River Dane – Dane Street riverside walk
    Mandarin Duck 5 immature
    Grey Wagtail several sightings including adult and immature
    Goosander ♀ and four young
    Dipper Flying upstream
    River Dane – Steamboat car park
    Kingfisher Flying downstream

  24. John
    12th July 2021

    5 – 11 Jul
    EHF/PHF: Egyptian Goose, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Common & Green Sandpiper, Greenshank, Y-l Gull, Common Tern, L Egret, Kingfisher, Garden Warbler
    Astbury: R-l Partridge
    Astbury Mere: Common Tern
    Church / Lawton Woods: Peregrine, Reed Warbler
    Congleton: Mandarin, Goosander, Kingfisher, Spotted Flycatcher, Dipper, Grey Wagtail,
    Doddington: Pochard, Oystercatcher, Common Sandpiper
    Haslington; Raven
    Lea Forge: Kestrel, Garden Warbler
    Wallhill/Brownlow: Sand Martin, Skylark, Yellow Wagtail, Yellowhammer

  25. Colin
    11th July 2021

    At Hall o’the Heath farm, Haslington this morning were three ravens moving about in a large tree and calling loudly. Looked like three juvs hoping to be fed soon! Also 20+ swallows in the old milking parlour and around the yard and several juvs with them.

  26. Mike&Andy
    10th July 2021

    The 2 Common Sandpipers still at Doddington this morning but just 1 Oystercatcher showing.The only change on the water were 2 male and 1 female Pochard.At Lea Forge,Garden Warbler,Chiffchaff,Blackcap,Whitethroat,Kestrel,Song and Mistle Thrush,20 Linnets,Reed Bunting,Greenfinch and G.S.Woodpecker were the pick of the bunch.

  27. Nigel Henderson
    10th July 2021

    Congleton – River Dane – Dane Street riverside walk
    Mandarin Duck ♀ and 3 young;
    Goosander ♀ and 4 young; Immature; 2 x ♀;
    Dipper Immature – nearly in adult plumage
    Grey Wagtail several sightings

  28. Colin
    9th July 2021

    Following reports of large gulls being seen frequently around the Dunelm/Home Bargains car park in Crewe I made a visit this morning and there were indeed several Lesser Black-backed Gulls in the area, looking on post and guarding a site. It would be good to prove breeding but unfortunately the roof has a false front blocking the view. So if anybody uses that car park in Crewe in the next few weeks please look up at the top of the front for large brown juvenile gulls and if you see any please let me or John know.

  29. John
    8th July 2021

    Heavy going at Roe Park this morning on my monthly visit – the track is overgrown making progress slow! Nothing new or of note there.

    I spent a couple of hours afterwards at the viewpoint at nearby Cheshire’s Close: as the clouds built, swallows were hawking overhead and a handful of swifts joined in. A beautiful male Kestrel was ever-present and on one occasion was accompanied by a female and contact calls were exchanged. Whitethroat and Linnet were very busy, presumably with young wanting feeding? A Reed Bunting was heard singing but no sight or sound of the Grasshopper Warbler or Tree Pipits while I was there.

  30. Mike & Andy
    7th July 2021

    2 Common Sandpipers roosting on the island at Doddington this evening and and at least one full sized Oystercatcher juv.

  31. John
    5th July 2021

    28 Jun – 4 Jul
    EHF/PHF: Egyptian Goose, Oystercatcher, LR Plover, Curlew, Bl-t Godwit, Common & Green Sandpiper, Common Tern, L Egret
    MGT/RF: L Grebe, Great W Egret, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Jay, Raven
    Astbury Mere: Common Tern, Tawny Owl
    Church / Lawton Woods: Peregrine
    Congleton: Mandarin, Goosander, Kingfisher, Spotted Flycatcher, Dipper, Grey Wagtail,
    Lea Forge: Sparrowhawk, Kingfisher, Whitethroat, Linnet
    Middlewich: L Whitethroat
    Shavington: Red Kite
    Wallhill/Brownlow: Oystercatcher, Yellow Wagtail, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting

  32. Dave Winnington
    5th July 2021

    Peregrine still on top of Church tower All Saints Church Church Lawton been there since last Thursday

  33. Nigel Henderson
    4th July 2021

    Congleton park
    Blackcap ♂
    Spotted Flycatcher 2 (two people with binoculars round their necks have asked me where to find them.)
    River Dane – Dane Street riverside walk
    Kingfisher (Pam)
    Grey Wagtail ;also by the weir
    Goosander ♀ and 4 young; 2 immature

  34. Sylvia & Colin
    2nd July 2021

    A pleasant stroll round Lea Forge this morning. No rare species to record but we did manage a total of 37 species in two hours. By far the commonest was whitethroat with several pairs feeding young and several others were also feeding juvs and I was pleased to see linnets and goldfinches there. Best birds probably at the end with buzzard, sparrowhawk and kingfisher.

  35. John
    2nd July 2021

    Little different from previous recent visits to Meremoor Moss & environs yesterday other than: Muscovy Duck and Raven

    Not part of the SECOS Swift Count but while at the Queens Park, Crewe this morning: 40+ Swift. I still can’t connect with the regularly reported Little Owl!

  36. Nigel Henderson
    2nd July 2021

    River Dane – Dane Street riverside walk
    Grey Wagtail Several sightings
    Goosander ♀ and 4 young
    Dipper just downstream of the road bridge
    River Dane – between the Steamboat and the weir
    Mandarin Duck ♀ and 3 young

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